Molise is a small but varied region, just waiting to be discovered with its wealth of different landscapes where activities and pastimes of all kinds can be found. There are also many places of historical and cultural interest.
Molise is located in southern Italy. It is nestled into the hills between Abruzzo and Puglia on Italy’s Adriatic Coast. It boasts a little strip of beautiful coast along the Adriatic Sea. To its west are Lazio and Campania. In Molise there are no airports, but it is perfectly served by those of Rome, Naples or Pescara from where one can easily reach the area by car or train in a short time.
Molise is often overlooked by tourists who are drawn to Puglia to the south and Campania to the west. Yet Molise offers all the fine qualities of a trip to Italy without the throngs of tourists. If you are looking for an outdoor mountain vacation or an Italy beach vacation, you’ll find it in Molise. For more information about Molise sightseeing watch the video below.
Molise Sightseeing Video
Molise Sightseeing Highlights
Molise is a small unspoiled southern Italian region. It is untouched by mass tourism. Yet its beauty rivals the many other beautiful and better-known Italian regions, such as Umbria, Tuscany and Puglia.
Molise touches the Adriatic sea between Aburzzo and Puglia. To its west, a tiny sliver is sandwiched between Lazio and Campania.
On its Adriatic Coast, there are about 30 miles of sandy beaches, ideal for families and the less adventurous. And unlike the many crowded beach resorts you’ll find in Tuscany, Marche, Puglia and Lazio, the Molise beaches Montenero di Bisaccia to Petaccio, from Termoli – the most popular sea destination – to Campomarino, are tranquil oasis. Furthermore, there is a ferryboat from Termoli to the mesmerizing Tremiti Islands, which belong to Puglia region but are just in front of Molise shores.
Molise has its share of historical attractions. One of the most famous destinations in Molise is the town of Agnone. The town was made famous by its bell foundries. Here is the origin of the chimes that clang from the bell towers that cross Italy. From those of the Tower of Pisa to those of the Abbey of Montecassino, to St. Peter’s Basilica, the bells of Agnone is a 1,000 year old tradition. In Agnone you’ll find the International Museum of the bell.
If bells aren’t your thing maybe bagpipes are. And if so, then a visit to Scapoli should be on your Molise travel itinerary. It is known internationally as the homeland of the bagpipes, an instrument that accompanied the activity of the shepherds. Here the tradition of the ancient factory still survives and boasts a dedicated festival that since 1975 has been attracting Italian and overseas visitors.
Every year, on December 24th, Molise hosts the famous ‘ndocciata (from ‘ndoccia = torcia), the Christmas tradition linked to the most impressive fire show known in the world. It is a suggestive procession of flames and sparks.
Molise Outdoor Fun
Molise’s beaches and mountains offer twelve months of year round fun. Molise’s mountain destinations offer strenuous mountain biking trails. Furthermore, winter sports such as skiing extend well into spring. Capracotta is a paradise for cross-country skiing. Campitello Matese is one of the best ski resorts in southern Italy. Other popular winter sport destinations include Pescopennataro, Vastogirardi, Pietrabbondante and San Pietro Avellana.
You may also want to plan a long hike through the ancient shepherd paths. Known as “trattui” the shepherds would lead their flocks in search of new pastures and a suitable climate for raising sheep. They are now real “green highways” in nature that from ancient times have connected places and herds of animals. Walking along a ‘tratturo‘ is an easy experience suitable for all. Accessible all year round, you could plan a relaxed walking vacation with breaks at one of the inns or holiday farms that are dotted along the way.
Molise Culinary Traditions
Like all of Italy’s regions, Molise has its share of local culinary traditions. For its local wines, to its truffles of Isernia, and the truffle of San Pietro Avellana, to its lamb, you’re sure to enjoy indulging in Molise’s culinary traditions.
For more information about touring Italy check out our Italy travel guide.